‘Spider-Man’ displays diversity, ‘Despicable Me 3’ shows off

Summer is such an exciting time for the cinemas. Not only are the year’s best films released during this season, but the movie theater is the best place to sit back, relax, and beat the heat. I have two family-friendly flicks for you to catch this week: “Despicable Me 3” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

After refusing to go back to a life of crime, the yellow cuddly minions desert their fearless leader, Gru (Steve Carrell). But, after losing his job and finding his long-lost twin brother, Dru (also Carrell), Gru is tempted to go back to his villainous ways.

“Despicable Me 3” is as cute and funny as its predecessors, “Despicable Me” (2010) and Despicable Me 2” (2013). There are so many random parts of the movie, but it all comes together for a wacky, whimsical animation.

The glue that holds this film series together is Gru. Carrell worked double-time in the third installment with the introduction of the new character. The audience gets twice the amount of clean comedy. Carrell is a comedic genius, and his success with “Despicable Me 3” only confirms his range and brilliance.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: ‘Spider-Man’ displays diversity, ‘Despicable Me 3’ shows off 

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

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Will Ferrell returns as Ron Burgundy in the highly anticipated sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Ron Burgundy and his beautiful news anchor wife, Veronica Corningstone-Burgundy (Christina Applegate) faces divorce after Ron is fired and Veronica is promoted to primetime news anchor. Ron travels across San Diego to reassemble the Channel 4 news team to take over a new 24-hour news channel, Global News Network (GNN).

Led by news executive Linda Jackson (Meagan Good), Ron Burgundy, the gullible weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), the cat loving investigative reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd), and racist sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner) must redeem themselves on a national news market.

Any movie with Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell is a simple combination for idiotic humor. The movie was everywhere. Although there was a definite plot, the scenes were sporadic and sometimes, did not make sense. The broad, goofy outlook is a testament to the type of work Will Ferrell produces. Anchorman Man 2 is very similar to the other Ferrell movies such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Blades of Glory (2007), and Stepbrothers (2008).

Meagan Good serves as the token Black woman for the first Anchorman lacked diversity. The only problem is her character was corny and pointless. Linda Jackson’s sole purpose is to provide a great seaway to the epic Black dinner scene. And I am no MAC cosmetic consultant, but I’m certain that her eyebrows were drawn on by an infant. I was afraid. In the 1970s, did women wear their eyebrows like that?

Despite Good’s questionable presence, this movie review could have easily been dedicated to the other numerous, awesome cameos. In the first few second of Anchorman 2, multiplatinum rapper and former Degrassi star, Drake, makes a special appearance that will make you chuckle. Acting is what put Drake on the map and I’ve always wondered why he can’t continue to utilize that craft in addition to rapping. Other memorable cameos include Will Smith, Vince Vaughn, Kanye West, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, and Jim Carrey.

2013 was a big year for sequels. Earlier in the year, I projected the success of animated sequels but it seems as if all eleven sequels of 2013 made a significant impact on the film industry.

Sequel Box Office Opening Weekend Gross:
Movie Release Date Opening Weekend Gross
1.) Monsters University 6/21 $82.4 million
2.) Despicable Me 2 7/3 $83.5 million
3.) Red 2 7/19 $18 million
4.) Smurfs 2 7/31 $17.5 million
5.) Kick Ass 2 8/16 $13.3 million
6.) Insidious Chapter 2 9/13 $40.3 million
7.) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 9/27 $34 million
8.) Thor: A Dark World 11/8 $85.7 million
9.) Best Man Holiday 11/15 $30.1 million
10.) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 11/22 $158 million
11.) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 12/13 $73.6 million
(Courtesy of Box Office Mojo, an IMDb company ©)

We will have to wait to see if Anchorman 2: the Legend Continues will also have a strong sequel box office opening weekend. Ninja 2 is this year’s last sequel and it will be released on New Year’s Eve.

3 STARS: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is stupid funny! It takes a special person, including myself, to understand the dynamics of Will Ferrell’s senseless comedy.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Passes

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The Movie Scene Queen will randomly select five (5) winners to grab a pair of tickets to the special, advance screening of Anchorman 2. The screening will be held on Monday, December 16, 2013, two days prior to the opening of the film, at AMC Waterfront 22, 7:30 PM. Winners will be announced Monday at 10:00 AM.

For your chance for tickets, please comment below with your favorite moment from the first Anchorman (2004).

With the 70′s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), returns to the news desk in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), weather man Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), man on the street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and sports guy Champ Kind (David Koechner) – All of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy…while taking New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. (courtesy of GOFOBO.com)

Anchorman 2 opens nationwide on Wednesday, December 18th.

Anchorman 2 SuperTickets are available exclusively at AMC Theatres and the ticket includes your movie ticket plus DigitalHD movie copy and bonus extras! Available now at participating AMC box offices or fandango.com. To purchase Anchorman 2 SuperTicket & SuperTicket Premiere: http://www.fandango.com/anchorman2superticket

*Please note: Winners of this promotion will only receive guaranteed access to the theater with their guest at the advance screening; they will not receive the SuperTicket package.

GOOD LUCK

September Throwback Movie of the Month- Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is the 2006 comedy-drama about a family on a road trip to see that their 7-year-old, Olive (Abigail Breslin) gets to her beauty pageant.

Pudgy and overshadowed with insecurity, Olive takes pageant advice and dance moves from her coach and grandpa, Edwin (Alan Arkin). Olive’s father, Richard Hoover (Greg Kinnear), is a control freak who is banking on this 9-step winners program he created to solve all the family’s financial problems. Sheryl Hoover (Toni Collette), Olive’s mother, is the rational one who tries to satisfy everyone despite their bickering. Dwayne Hoover (Paul Dano), Olive’s brother, has taken a vow of silence in hopes to become a pilot. Grandpa Edwin is a war veteran who was recently kicked out his retirement home for snorting heroin. And finally, Olive’s uncle, Frank (Steve Carell) is recently released from the hospital after being fired and trying to kill himself.

The family packs into a 1972 Volkswagen T2 Microbus and heads to Redondo Beach, California. The trip is anything but normal. Family secrets are revealed, every family member comes to some sort of realization, and even one, unexpectedly dies. Once Olive finally gets to the pageant, it’s up to her to use her beauty and dance moves to be crowned Little Miss Sunshine.

There’s no question that I am a huge Steve Carell fan, but to see him as a gay suicidal genius, takes the cake. Even to this day, Little Miss Sunshine is some of his best work. He effortlessly makes you laugh with his sarcasm, dry humor, and overall “I’m just glad to be alive” spirit. Camouflaging his wrist cuts with 2 day old medical tape, Steve Carell’s character looked defeated but he was actually full of life.

4.5 Stars: Little Miss Sunshine is brilliant and collectively celebrates the dysfunctional complexity of any family. You are guaranteed to laugh from beginning to end!

Little Miss Sunshine 2

Despicable Me 2

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Pittsburgh mommy bloggers, including the Pittsburgh Movie Scene Queen, packed the Pittsburgh Mills theatre on June 27th for the advance screening of Despicable Me 2. Over 100 families enjoyed as Gru (voice by Steve Carrell), his beautiful girls, and the minions saved the day again.

If you remember the first Despicable Me, Gru was an evil villain who wanted to steal the moon. But his plans were completely derailed when he met three little orphan girls who stole his heart.

In Despicable Me 2, the oldest daughter, Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), is entering the world of dating. The middle child, Edith (voiced by Dana Gaier), is in the awkward pre-teen phase where every statement ends with “EWWWWWW!” And the youngest baby girl, Agnes (voiced by Elsie Fisher), remains her innocence with her love of fairytales and stuffed animals.

You can’t forget about Gru’s “other” children! The minions always steal the show with their made up language, song parodies, and clumsy assistance.

A secret anti-villain agency enlists the help of Gru to investigate and capture a criminal who has been injecting evil poison into people. Gru gets a partner (voiced by) and they go undercover in the mall to find the store owner who is turning minions into crazed psychotic killers. There’s a Mexican twist to the investigation that only leads Gru closer to the real culprit and finding his true love.

The Comedic Genius
Steve Carrell won my heart with his many seasons as Dunder Mifflin Paper Company Manager Michael Scott on the NBC TV series, The Office. Carrell also had memorable roles in the 40-Year-Old Virgin, Date Night, Dinner for Schmucks, and Anchorman. Being named as Life Magazine’s Funniest Man, his erratic, sarcastic humor opens up a new door to making people laugh. The Despicable Me series only confirm his comedic diversity as he perfect his role as a former villain and loving dad.

The Year of Animated Sequels
Similar to Despicable Me 2, there are a handful of animated sequels like Monsters University (which is in theatres now), Smurfs 2, and Cloudy Chance of Meatballs 2 that are coming out this year. Most of them will be released this summer along with new comers like Turbo, Epic, and Escape from Planet Earth. Because of their box office records, animated movies have become a mainstream driving force in the film industry.

5 STARS: Despicable Me 2 is the cutest family movie filled with humor for both kids and adults.

The movie theatre is the only place known where you can beat the heat, kick up your feet, and be entertained for 90 minutes.

Pittsburgh Movie Scene Queen has been invited to The Moms red carpet screening of Smurfs 2 in Chicago later this month so stay tuned for the exclusive review.

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